Thursday, May 14, 2009

subtle grasp

Yesterday I finally accomplished my months (perhaps even years) long intention to unearth my copy of Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot. As with all things, sovereignty reigns in the timing.

I love this story. It never fails to inspire, encourage and convict me. I am already through several chapters. It feels like going back to a place I once lived. Wandering through the rooms evokes memories of important events, causes reflection on things learned, then new observations appear as I look at old things from a taller perspective and wonder how familiar can look so different. Notes and dates in the margins are like the family gallery in the hall. They take me back through high school, college, the couple years I taught 5th grade. I don't remember how many times I've read this book, but I have no doubt that I will gather much to turn over in my mind and heart these next days.

This passage is the one that has stood out to me the most so far:

"Father, let me be weak that I might loose my clutch on everything temporal. My life, my reputation, my possessions, Lord, let me loose the tension of the grasping hand. Even Father, I would lose the love of fondling. How often I have released a grasp only to retain what I prized by 'harmless' longing, the fondling touch. Rather, open my hand to receive the nail of Calvary, as Christ's was opened - that I, releasing all, might be released, unleashed from all that binds me now. He thought heaven, yea equality with God, not a thing to be clutched at. So let me release my grasp. Fix my heart wholly, Lord, to follow Thee, in no detail to touch what is not mine."

Ever retained a hope that something would be given eventually and so survived on the idea that your decision to go separately for God will eventually be revoked by Him?


Anonymous said...

I missed saying hi to you yesterday in my hurry to get everything done and be out the door so I could go prepare to host a piano recital. I hope you and the other ladies had a great time hanging out at your place, and I can't wait to see you at Next. Would it be wrong to pray that we be placed in the same community/family group so that we see each other more often? :) Love ya!

Rachel said...

I'm telling you... we must run away together for at least one afternoon. Wrong?!? Seriously? God totally loves us! I would be stoked if we were in the same small group!